NEWS RELEASE: UN Human Rights Office welcomes the Supreme Court decision to dismiss criminal defamation case of labour rights activist
BANGKOK (03 November 2016) – The UN Human Rights Office for South-EastAsia (OHCHR) welcomes the Supreme Courts decision today to dismiss criminal defamation case against the labour rights activist Mr. Andy Hall.
Mr. Hall was sued by the Thai Company Natural Fruit in relation to an interview he gave to Al-Jazeera in Myanmar in April 2013 concerning his criminal prosecution by the Thai Company Natural Fruit for reporting human rights and labour rights violations of migrant workers.
The Supreme Court of Thailand rejected the Attorney General and Natural Fruit Co Ltds appeal that the alleged defamation was committed in Myanmar where Thai courts have no jurisdiction and citing flawed interrogation process during police investigation.
On 20 September 2016, Andy Hall was sentenced to three years imprisonment, suspended for two years on criminal defamation and Computer Crimes Act in another case in relation to a 2013 Finnwatch report titled “Cheap has a High Price” which alleged serious human rights and labour rights violations of migrant workers.
The Regional Office reiterates its call to the Thai Government to drop charges against all human rights defenders who have been charged with criminal offences for reporting human rights violations in accordance with its obligations under international human rights law.